Friday, November 29, 2013

No H8

My friend Jessica is an interesting person with many interests. She worked with me when I first started my blog with a giveaway from her Flairware Boutique, which is fabulous! She loves pin up clothing, the 50's in general, music, and she is passionate about immigration reform. She has agreed to do a guest post for me today. And I hope everyone will take a moment from doing all of their Christmas shopping, and read what she has to say.



Why do people who are not born citizens come to the United States in the first place?  Why would they come to this country not knowing the language? Why would they come to this country to leave their own homeland? Why would they leave their customs? Leave their traditions? Leave their way of life? Leaving every single thing they know? Why?

The American dream is just as alive today as it was when the term was coined.  The American dream consists of equality, democracy, and material prosperity, all wrapped up with a pretty bow and white picket fence.  You and I are no different from our ancestors. As each generation lives, their dream is the same: the quest for a better life than the previous generation.

But if we think about it, here is our fellow man coming from a different country without knowing the language, without knowing the laws, the politics, the system, the customs, the traditions, the way of life. It is all unknown territory. 

What do we have that they don’t have in their own country?

Immigration reform is a challenging topic. It is a topic that brings about a wrath like none other I have witnessed.  When we generalize, the common misconception is that all immigrants are Mexican. We fail to recognize that we are ALL immigrants that came from some place. Whether we like it or not, the truth is, is that we are all the product of our ancestors migrating to the motherland we call the land of the free for a legitimate reason. We don’t just move from place to place because we like to move.

This little girl deserves the future of her choosing.  And if that means to completely escape from everything she has ever known, so be it.  Trust me, there is a really good reason for it.

It is time to have a dialogue about comprehensive immigration reform.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

John Lennon Inspired Gifts

I’m a huge fan of The Beatles, and if you’re a fan pretty much anything to do with The Beatles is a big hit as a gift. Global Rebel has a line of clothes inspired by John Lennon’s style that will be a hit for the guy in your family who is a John Lennon fan.

A Hard Day’s Night Cologne for Men

This cologne is for the guy who likes sweet scented colognes.

People for Peace Long Sleeved Shirt

Remember those really cool shirts that John Lennon wore with the epaulets? This shirt is just like one of them. It has People for Peace embroidered on the back of the shirt for extra pizzazz.

John Lennon New York City Tee Shirt

This shirt has New York City on framed in John Lennon’s face. It’s a way cool shirt in my opinion.

Black Friday - Cyber Week - Up To 50% Off - Use Code BLACK


There are loads of other John Lennon inspired items at Global Rebel, and if you use the word Black you can receive a 50% discount on many items. So head on over and check out their clothing collections.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dear Pocahontas


Dear Pocahontas

I know it is kind of late notice, but I was wondering if you’re not busy for Thanksgiving Dinner if you would like to come celebrate the holiday with me and my friends.  I figure it is about time that someone returns the favor that you and the people of your community paid to our pilgrim immigrant forefathers.

In my opinion it was pretty cool that you were able to convince your father, and your community to provide the pilgrims with assistance. I mean they just wouldn’t have made it without the food and educational assistance of the natural born citizens of the area like you.

I’m really sorry about the way that your people were treated in the time that followed the kind assistance that your people provided to these pilgrim immigrants. Pocahontas, if you knew how things would turn out in your people’s future would you have helped the pilgrims? Or would you have just let them die off?

I guess you can answer my questions if you decide to stop by. The meal should be ready around noonish, and feel free to bring a guest. There should be plenty of food, but if you have something special you would like to go along with our Thanksgiving feast of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries you can bring that too. I hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,


Heidi

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Punch

So it’s Thanksgiving, and you’ll need something to for the hordes who invade your home to drink so why not some warm punch for the day. This will take a little while to cook, but then what doesn’t on Thanksgiving.


Here’s what you need.

2 cups orange juice
2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
2 cups pineapple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ stick of butter
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice

Put all of the ingredients in a pot and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer for at least an hour.

Add orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful At Thanksgiving

Since Thanksgiving will be here this week. I think it is important to share some of the things I am thankful for this year.

I am thankful for good health. Being able to walk and talk is something so many of us take for granted.
I am thankful I am employed. It may not be my dream job, (Read I want a Job Like… if you want to know more about my ideal job) I am employed and thankful for the job.



I am thankful for all the great people in my everyday life. Yes, there are people in the world that believe that my quirks are interesting. And there are those that understand that even though I might respond to a text message a couple days later it’s the fact that I respond that means I like you.

I am thankful that I have a home to live in. I am thankful for indoor plumbing, heat, and electricity. Oh, I do love all of these things. Check out my guest post on Recovering Bankrupt to learn more)

And last on this list, I am thankful for all of my faithful followers, who read about my life, all of my sponsors. (Check out this month’s sponsor Blue Starling Candle Company to learn more) And of course all of the bands who give me music to review! All of you are awesome!



What are all of you thankful this Thanksgiving week?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

God of the Machine Dreamerica

We’ve all heard the complaints about how commercialized the music industry has become. I talk it about it quite it. How if bands don’t look and act a certain way they just don’t have the opportunity to make it big or make an impact in the music world. God of the Machine is a band has decided to return to what music really is all about. Creating something they believe, and having fun while they do it. They also believe in giving back to the world they live in.


And with their new release Dreamerica they are giving back to the world. With each itunes download of the song, they are donating 99 cents to cancer research. In a world of give me, give me, give me, that’s pretty awesome I think! So that’s one reason to check out the song, but the other reason is that the song sounds really good.

The melody of the song has a pop feel to it, it’s nice and easy to listen to. You know the type of song you can listen to cleaning the house, at a small gathering, or while you’re at work. But the lyrics aren’t necessarily light. They are about America, and it’s role in the world. It mentions the icons that have shaped the world, and that history is still being made.

I thought this was really interesting considering this is an Australian band. And it was also refreshing to hear a band from another country not condemning America, but reminding us of the things we have accomplished, and encouraging Americans to continue to lead the way into the future.


Listen to the clip, and see what you think of the song. And if you like it visit the itunes store and purchase the song. The money is definitely going to a good cause.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Basket

A lot of us will be visiting with family or friends for Thanksgiving dinner this year, and many of us will be bringing along food items. But it’s also important to remember that hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work. So it’s a nice gesture to provide your host or hostess with a simple gift that will be used after all the guests have left. So here is a sample gift basket that will brighten the host of your feast day. It’s simple and something that most individuals will use.


All you need is a few simple items that are sure to make your hostess happy. Here's what I used. 
A basket that I had around the house.
A small plate in the shape of a leaf. It's safe for food, or it can be used as a decorative stand for the candle I included, which is of course from my lovely sponsor Blue Starling Candle Company. It's been lit so I could see what the candle smelled like, but just a little so it's safe for a gift.
And of course some lovely Cranberry Reslish in a jar.
I also added some fall colored leaves that I had in the house to give it some extra Thanksgiving flair.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cranberry Relish

With Thanksgiving Day coming everyone will need the side dishes for their Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberry Relish is an easy side dish that goes so well with that turkey dinner. So here’s what you need to make your relish.

cranberry recipes

Here's What You Need

1 lb fresh or frozen cranberries
2 oranges cut into pieces be sure to include the entire orange
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon ginger

Put the cranberries in a blender or food processor and blend, now slowly add the rest of the ingredients until they are blended well.


And you have cranberry relish. Let me know what you'll be serving this Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Scan Hopper

Oh, yes, Austin is the city for loads of great independent bands, and Scan Hopper is one of those bands.  I recently listened to their new ep release Mariana Bridges, and it had some great stuff. The band definitely has a unique sound for this day and age. It’s not canned music. My favorite song on the album is Twisted Air, which reminded me of some of the new wave songs that came out in the 1980’s. It’s fun to listen to and it’s fast paced. And the lyrics made me think of a tornado. Yeah, I know it’s kind of a weird thing to think of, but it did!


The song Mariana Bridges starts out with acoustic guitar, and then adds some electric. And when you add the vocals, it’s a really interesting piece with a little bit of a psychedelic edge to it.  But you can check it out for yourself.




Scan Hopper's page on bandcamp states they are Austin’s answer to a question that was never asked. And if this is the band’s music is the result of unanswered question, what would they be able to produce if someone asked them a question? I’m sure that it would be great! Be sure to check out their site so that you can listen to their music, and purchase a copy of Scan Hopper’s new or old music through their page on bandcamp.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Flavors of Fall List


1.       Frosted Cranberry Soap Soap Garden
2.       Cranberry Orange Loose Tea BlueHeronTeaCup
3.       Jingle Bell Candle Blue Starling Candle Company
4.       Homemade New England Cranberry Orange Jam ilPiccoloGiardino

5.       Cranberry Blood Orange Organic Lip Color WildRose Herbs


Monday, November 18, 2013

Whatcha Been Readin?

As a blogger you spend a lot of time reading other people’s blogs. It’s fun to see what is going on in other people’s lives, what their ideas are, and of course there are those recipes and crafts. So here are five of my current favorite blogs. It was difficult to narrow it down to just five, but somehow I managed to do it.

1. Hollie’s Hoots and Hollers-I met Hollie through a swap. And I was lucky to meet her. Hollie’s blogs about her life, and her life is rich. She enjoys every moment of it. She shares the ups and downs, but it is mainly the ups. Whether she is celebrating someone’s birthday or sharing her new favorite song on her Tuesday blog hop. She has opinions and she shares them with others. Her blog is worth reading. Hollie thanks for making the blogging world a little more interesting.



2. Back2BasicsHealth-This is Mary’s blog from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds. Mary is passionate about eating healthy. Her blog provides valuable information about the foods we eat. And Mary shares with her community. She shares music, and links to diy projects. I’m sure if you look through her posts you will learn a little something during your visit.



3. A Geek in Glasses-Stephanie’s blog is just full of fun stuff, whether she is telling about her visit to museums or telling you how to bling up a pair of Dollar Store serving tongs it’s all done by a lady who isn’t afraid to march to the beat of her own drummer. She brings a lot of diversity to the blogging world.



4. Butterflies on Mars-How can you not want to check out a blog with a name like that. Alyssa is the blogger here, her blog focuses in on fashion. I love the bright colors in all of her posts. Her fashion tastes are so much fun. I love the girls who aren’t afraid to let their clothes shout out look at me. And her outfits do.




5. A Catlike Curiousity-Yes, cats are an important part of this blog, but that’s not everything on the blog. Sarah writes about positive things. She shows her artwork, and the artwork of others. Her artwork is about cats and inspiring yourself to be a better person.


 So that’s the list. Check out the blogs, and let me know if there are other blogs I should be reading.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

BigBigGorilla

When I heard the echo sound of a guitar in the intro to Rabbit’s Foot by BigBigGorilla my ears perked up. Then I heard the sweet voice of the lead singer, and I thought this sounds great why isn’t it on the radio? The song is all about moving past fear as we expose ourselves to others. So not only does Rabbit’s Foot have a great melody, it has great lyrics.



I listened to the next song on the playlist called Don’t Remember Me, and I am now officially a BigBigGorilla fan. Don’t Remember Me is an acapella piece. In my opinion it takes lots of guts for new performers to do a number acapella. They are depending completely on their vocal abilities, and the lyrics of the song. And let’s face it how often do acapella songs get airplay? But BigBigGorilla does a great job with this song. The harmonies are sweet, and the words are worth listening to.



So it was time to see what else I could learn about BigBigGorilla, and I was really glad to see on the bands facebook page that they are planning to release a cd with these two songs. The date hasn’t been announced, but it is definitely a release I hope will appear soon. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Allen County Public Library Author's Fair 2013

I’m so lucky to live in a city with an excellent library system. And last Saturday was the Allen County Library Author’s Fair. This is the second year that our library has held the fair, and in my opinion it was a great success both this year and last year.



The fair was composed of authors of all book genres. The main hall of the library was lined with tables where the authors provided information about their books, and the authors were willing to sign copies of their books that were purchased.  The fair focused on local authors, and it was great to see people from my area, who had written and published their own work. These are people who are passionate about what they have created. They are making their dreams come true.



If you like to read, you should visit an author’s fair so that you have the opportunity to talk with individuals who are writing the books you read, and so that you can understand some of the joy they have about their creations.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another Day in Paradise

I heard the song Another Day in Paradise by Don Arbor today, and I have to admit the song had me wishing for the warm days of spring and summer. The song had me thinking about days that I have spent at the beach just relaxing, without a care on my mind. It’s just what I needed to hear on this cloudy day in Indiana. Another Day in Paradise is the new single off of Don Arbor’s album Man on a Mission.


Some of the songs on the album have lyrics that encourage people to relax and enjoy life, like the song Life’s Too Short. While other songs like Obama Won, and If I Had a Son, He'd Look Like Trayvon, definitely have lyrics with political overtones. Don is definitely making a statement about his beliefs in those songs. But the melodies to the songs also make a statement. They are catchy melodies that you will want to sing along with. Many of the songs will make you want to dance when you hear them on the radio. All of these show that the artist wants his music to be a part of the listener’s everyday life, whether it be relaxing, or thinking about the bigger issues in life.



This is Don Arbor’s third Cd, and it is a two album set that includes new music, and some songs from previous releases. His video for the song Salam Pax won Grand Festival Award at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival in 2008. Man on a Mission is definitely a great album to listen to. So if you like music that is a little bit bluesy, a little bit popish, and a lot of listenable then you should really go to his website and listen to the music for yourself. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Artichoke Salad

This artichoke salad is so easy to throw together and it has all of those Christmas colors in it so it’s oh so festive too!
Party Salads

Here’s what you need.
1 can of quartered artichokes
1 cup olive oil
¼ chopped green pepper
¼ chopped red pepper
¼ cup purple onion
½ cup black olives
½ cup grape tomatoes
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon oregano


Now throw all of this in a bowl and mix it together. Allow it to sit in the frig for several hours. And you now you have a healthy salad for your next meal.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fireplace Decorations

1.   Fireplace Mantel D├ęcor CherubimArts
2.    Over an Open Fire Candle Blue Starling CandleCo.
3.    Custom Fireplace Screen shelbyEyork
4.    7 WHITE BIRCH LOGS In a FirePlace Bundle theflowerpatch

5.    Fire Rake and Poker Set LeslieTharpDesigns

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dear Raffaele Esposito

Dear Raffaele Esposito


I was wondering if you could help me with a pizza sauce recipe. I know that your tavern, Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi is credited as the first restaurant to serve modern day pizza. They say that you are the first person to add mozzarella cheese to pizzas. How did you come up with that idea? And when Queen Margherita commissioned you to make her a pizza what was the blend of spices that you used? Was it simply tomatoes, and basil or did you add a little something extra to the sauce? I’ve heard that you didn’t add garlic to the sauce, and I wondered if you realized just how good garlic is supposed to be for you. I’m sure the she would have appreciated someone doing something for her health. Oh, what was it like cooking at the royal kitchen? I mean when you went to make that pizza for her was all of the equipment state of the art? I know it was the 19th century and all, but was it better than what you had available at your tavern, or were you a little disappointed when you saw the royal kitchen?

Anyway, I hope that you can drop me a line with that pizza sauce so I can share it with my friends and family.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Small Business Saturday

Small business Saturday will be upon us soon. Yes, the day following Black Friday is Small Business Saturday. It’s November 30th this year. Small business Saturday is set aside in the Christmas shopping season when we all do our part to purchase items from smaller businesses that one day could be the big businesses in your community.

I’m fortunate to live in a city that has three businesses that started out as small town businesses that have become powerhouses in their area of interest. These businesses are examples of how dreams come true with a lot of hard work.

Fort Wayne is the home of Vera Bradley, Sweetwater Music Instruments and Pro Audio, and DeBrand’s Fine Chocolate. These businesses pull lots of money into my community, and they give back to their community through gifts to charities. They are all great businesses that are worth putting on your Black Friday shopping list.

But here are three up and coming businesses that you should add to your small business Saturday shopping list.

The Spinach Ball Co. is a small business that has developed a wonderful food product. Spinach balls stuffed with cheese. These are truly tasty! It’s a delightful and inexpensive food item that can be used for all of those holiday parties. Sophie and Ramesh have developed a faithful following for their products through local farmer’s markets, and you can now purchase their items online. Check out their site to see what they have available. You won’t regret it!

Blue Starling Candle Co is a new business that provides limited edition candles at a great price. These candles have a great scent and last for hours. These are perfect gifts for individuals that enjoy the scents of Christmas. Visit their site and see what they have available, but remember once the candles they have in this limited edition are gone you’ll have to wait until they unveil their next creations, so don’t waste any time visit their site soon.


Unlimited Party Themes focuses in on all those items you need for a party. The company is based out of Redlands, CA. The company provides everything you need in a package. They also have Christmas cards, birthday invites, and party invites. Pretty much everything you need for a party in a printable kit. Their business takes a lot of the hassle out of throwing a party because it provides quality goods in one kit.
Definitely check them out for your party needs.



So these are three of the businesses I recommend. Now let me know which small businesses you plan to shop at on Small Business Saturday!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Evil Comb


 
My roommate shared her favorite song with her last week. I do enjoy music, but the greatest song in the world I have ever heard is the opening of a can. I immediately run to the kitchen when I hear the first note which is the click of the can opener digging into the can. I immediately begin to sing along with the can opener song as soon as I it’s grinding beat. I do a happy cat dance as that music plays. I do this when all cans are opened. I know that there is always something for me because everything in the world revolves around me. But for some reason my pet human does not believe that she should provide me with a sample of everything that is from a can. She often tells me it’s green beans you don’t like green beans. She doesn’t seem to understand that it is just polite after I have danced and sang for her to offer me something, and that it is my choice to turn my nose up at it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Read the News Today Oh Boy

I was really surprised today when I read the news story about the gentleman, who refused to take his song to McDonald’s and he was criticized for doing this. Apparently, the gentleman offered his child the choice of going to any restaurant, other than McDonald’s.  The child threw a fit, and the gentleman took his son home, which cut short his visitation with his son. The man is in the middle of a divorce, and custody battle. So a psychologist pronounced the man incapable of taking care of his son. Huh?

Now I don’t know this gentleman, or how he normally parents his child, but isn’t it just part of parenting to have to go through a temper tantrum when a child wants something and can’t get it? Aren’t parents supposed to set limits for their children? Aren’t parents supposed to give their children choices? Isn’t it considered bad parenting to give in to a child’s demands when he throws a temper tantrum?


Once again, I don’t know this man or if he is a good parent, but hasn’t every parent faced a similar situation? What do you all think does this make you wonder what the psychologist was thinking?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chicken Stuffed with Apricots, Dates, and Prunes

Looking for a little different way to fix your chicken? Try chicken stuffed with apricots, dates and prunes. It actually pretty easy to make and it tastes pretty yummy. Here’s what you need to do.



½ cup dried apricots chopped
¼ cup dried dates chopped
¼ cup prunes chopped
1 cup of water
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 lb chicken breast

First add the cinnamon, cumin and turmeric to the water and stir. Next add the prunes, dates, and apricots. Allow them to soak until the fruit softens.


Next slit a top in each chicken breast. Stuff the fruit mixture into the chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chicken for 35 minutes. And there you have it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Have a Dream

We’ve all heard that quote I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., and all of us have our dreams, but are we all willing to do what it takes to make our dreams come true? So what does it take to make a dream come true? Here are three things everyone can do to make their dreams come true.

1.       Take a Risk

Making your dreams come true will involve exposing yourself to failure and sometimes ridicule. Others may look at you and think you are not the type of person who can do this or that, they may and often will scoff. Remember when Susan Boyle appeared on stage on Britian’s Got Talent? Everyone looked at her and thought what is she doing here? She didn’t look the part then she began to sing, and jaws dropped. She took a risk and it paid off.

2.       Be Confident


You have to believe your dream can come true. There will always be a few cheerleaders in your section, but for the most part people won’t encourage you. Once again Susan Boyle is the person to look at here. In the interviews they did with her before she did on stage, she stated “I’m gonna make that audience rock!” And she did!

3.       Work

I’m sorry to say, but making your dream come true will often take a lot of work. It may involve learning new skills. You may have to give up some fun time in the present in order to get the dream in the future. Dr. King had a dream that the country would change. He worked toward his goal, and he inspired others to dream his dream. Sadly, he died before much of his dream come true, but other individuals continued to work to make his dream happen. The benefit of all of these individuals work is that the country is a much better place.


So when you’re sitting there thinking I want this to happen, remember that making it happen is up to you.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Guest Blogger Bobaloo

I love to listen to music! I love the music of the birds singing! And I love when my pet human sings. I have to admit that she not does sing quite as well as the sparrows outside my window, but I do enjoy her voice. So when she begins to sing my ears perk up. Then I look her way, and I do the happy cat circle turn. I have to let her know that she has my attention. Then I run towards the sweet music! I know that she is singing for me alone. She loves to see my happy dance. If my pet human is sitting, I then run to her. I look at her and then I jump into her lap. I circle around a couple of times more just to let her know how pleased I am with her serenade. Then I sit in her lap. I enjoy most songs that she sings, but here is my absolute favorite.
 



Do you enjoy hearing the sweet sounds of your pet human singing?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Grace Revival

The band Grace Revival describes itself as a country pop band. And that description is fairly accurate. The band from Dayton, Ohio has been working hard at developing a following. They have played local events and festivals. It’s always been my opinion that these bands turn out to be the really good bands. They do the work that is needed to become really good artists. And Grace Revival is following this path. They have worked out cover songs like Baggage Claim by Miranda Lambert that please the crowds.


But they have also been writing their own songs. And they have spent time in the recording studio. The result of all this hard work is a new single called Since You Went Away. The song opens up with an acoustic guitar, followed by the lead singer, Jenna Snow, singing about how everything has started looking up since you went away. I have to say that I really liked the lyrics to this song. The song has a real hopeful tone, and the singer doesn’t feel sorry for herself. She states I’ll figure this all out. The lyrics are paired with a pretty melody that you won't forget. You can listen to the song as well as other songs by the band on bandpage. 




Grace Revival is a band that is committed to their music, and they are growing as musicians. So I’m sure that their hard work will result in many more singles and albums in the future.